Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cauliflower Biryani

I am very fond of one-pot meals,as is evident from the recipes of quick rice dishes I've posted so far.However tired I am,I am willing to make a meal at home if it is a one pot dish,coz all it requires is to fry(or roast)some papads and  a pickle on the side and if I am in a good mood,some raita with onions and cucumbers too.All it takes is to cut few vegetables,add rice and one whistle from the cooker..tada!

So it is with apprehension I approach rice dishes which require to be cooked separately ie the rice separately,the masala on its own and then mix everything together.But it isn't called Biryani for no reason.I was sold on this recipe of Baby Potato Biryani because it tasted very different(and good)from the pulao/rice dishes I make and I wanted to try it with other vegetables too.
I happened to flip through Mallika Badrinath's book Rice dishes at a friends place and the first recipe was that of Cauliflower Biryani.The recipe was a bit long and I couldn't memorize it,but I so badly wanted to try it.I followed a mixed method combining my pulao recipe and baby potato biryani recipe and I should say the resulting biryani tastes awesome.
Cauliflower Biryani
Recipe idea - Mallika Badrinath's Rice Dishes


Cauliflower - 1 medium sized,cut into small florettes
Fresh/frozen greenpeas - 1/2 cup

For the rice

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Cashewnuts - 7-10,chopped
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 cups
Salt to taste

For the masala

Oil/Ghee - 1 tbsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Onion - 1,sliced
Green chilly - 1
Garlic - 3-4 small cloves
Ginger - 1 small piece
Cardamom,clove,cinnamon - 1 piece each
Tomato - 1
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - a few,chopped


Wash the cauliflower florettes well under running water.Drain and keep aside.If you are using frozen peas,soak it in enough water till it softens.

For the rice 

Wash and soak the rice in enough water for 10-15 minutes.Drain and keep ready.
In a pressure cooker/pan add ghee and saute cashewnuts till it turns golden brown.Mix in the drained rice and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add water and salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
Close with the pressure cooker lid and cook for exactly one whistle.Let it come to room temperature.
Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.Reserve.

For the Cauliflower Masala

Make a paste of green chilly,garlic,ginger and whole garam masala and keep ready.
Puree the tomato and keep aside.
In a kadai,add oil/ghee and splutter jeera.Add onions and saute till it starts turning golden brown.Mix in the green chilly paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and stir well.
Now add the powders - red chilly powder,coriander powder,haldi,garam masala and let it come to a boil.
Mix in the cauliflower and green peas.Add salt to taste.Cover and cook till the masala coats the vegetables and the mix turns dry.(Cauliflower should be cooked but should retain its shape or else while mixing it might get mushy).
Now add the rice little at a time.Mix gently.
Garnish with coriander leaves.


  • As is with recipes of this kind,the biryani tastes good as it sits.So I would suggest you make this ahead of time while serving guests.Also,Cauliflower is bland on its own,so the more it sits,the more flavours it soaks in.
  • The biryani is good on its own,but you could serve it with a simple raita,papad and pickle on its side.


  1. luks very easy divya and so tasty also.....will surely try it out....and thanks a lot for coming back in full force with lots of pics and a wonderful recipe....:) :) :)

  2. really the pics.....i'm sure the biryani must have tasted superb

  3. Looks awesome..loved the flavour of your biriyani...Bookmarked to try!

  4. This looks so yum! It was cauliflower day for us today too. Just made a roasted cauliflower soup. Will try this biriyani next time!

  5. I too wanted to try this for long time as my kid loves cauliflower, but u know the cauliflower we get here gets mushy :( Looks so so tempting!

  6. healthy biryani!!nice step wise pics!

  7.'s simple and yum.... pictorial presentation is always helpful...

  8. I too love one pot meals. And any variation from the usual pulao is welcome. Never tried with cauliflower. Rice looks well coated with the yummy masala.
    I have tried a very different one long back that is with chickpeas. :) Laxmi Nair's recipe.

  9. looks so delicious..very tempting clicks!!

  10. wow perfect and simple biriyani...very colorful....

  11. Easy quick and good way of cooking like this who dont like cauliflower......its yummy and delicious.......superb.....

  12. perfect rice recipe..quick and easy one:)

  13. mmmm.... drool worthy pics and amazing preparation with just cauliflower.

  14. I'm always looking for ways to make anything in one pot! That invariably leads to more disasters than I would admit...but it does cut down on the work. Although I lean more towards chicken/mutton biryani, I'm salivating at the sight of your cauliflower version...and you're making me miss home badly!

  15. Great recipe! Tried it. Came out very well!

  16. I am gonna try this ... looks yummy ...!

  17. I am gonna try this out ....Its yummy simple and easy ...

  18. being a student girl living alone, one pot meals are our favorite...i wish u d post more easy recipes for those without a mixie/ grinder. we have a small broken mixie which we use rarely but else, our cooking is mostly just stove top.

    cud u pls post some recipes for easy south indian tiffen ideas for those without a grinder / idli plate. (eg: wheat dosa, etc).

    tried this recipe today without cashews. used peanuts instead and i forgot about it and it got burned. else the recipe was great. i like this type of rice than a mushy cauliflower rice thats more like sambar rice consistency.

    thank u for ur recipes. do email me at ca.sp2010@gmail if u have some ideas or post a blog post on the topic i requested above.

  19. Hi Divya,

    I tried your cauliflower briyani today and it was so awesome. Loved the idea of cooking the rice in ghee and cashews . Keep rocking! :)


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